Investing.com - Manufacturing activity in the U.K. in April expanded at a faster rate than expected, boosting optimism over the country’s economic outlook, industry data showed on Thursday.
In a report, market research group Markit said that its U.K. manufacturing PMI rose to a seasonally adjusted 57.3 last month from a reading of 55.8 in March. Analysts had expected the manufacturing PMI to decline to 55.4 in April.
On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.
Growth of new orders was attributed to improved demand from both domestic and export markets. The level of new business from overseas rose for the thirteenth successive month, reflecting stronger inflows of new work from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle-East.
Commenting on the report, Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compiler Markit, said, “The output index from the PMI survey suggests manufacturing output growth in the second quarter may even breach 1.5% on its current track.”
Following the release of the data, the pound added to gains against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD rising 0.2% to trade at 1.6906, compared to 1.6888 ahead of the data.
Meanwhile, London’sFTSE 100 was up 0.4%.
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